Auxiliary Reference Information | Sewing | Seams

It’s important for a quick and easy sew to ensure that the pattern you cut the fabric from has had all darts and seams trued up prior to sewing or after any seam allowances have been added for Flexible Patterns. Refer to Auxiliary Reference information for Trueing a Draft.


Also prior to following this unit it is a good idea to review the Auxiliary Reference Information for Pressing with an Iron as pressing will be required after Thread Tracing, and after sewing each seam.


A Thread Traced Seam


If you have already Thread Traced the sewing lines onto the fabric, usually for a Test Garment then joining seams up is much easier. You will need your pins and also your Fork pins handy.

Place the two fabric pieces right sides together and line up the pieces along the sewing lines.










If there is a Guideline or a perpendicular seam or a notch somewhere along the pieces I will pin this first. Peak between the seams to check that the sewing line and the Guidelines line up exactly.



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Pin a Fork pin through the area straggling either side of the Guideline or seam or Notch.



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You can open up the wide end to peek inside if you need to ensure that everything is perfectly aligned.

This is the only way I have found to create a perfect joining of perpendicular seams on a sewing line, I use these pins in quilting for this purpose so it makes sense to use them to construct garments.


Next place a pin exactly through the end of the sewing line for the line you need to sew.











Then take the pin immediately through the same point on the fabric underneath and bring the pin back up.


I usually try to bring the pin back up through the perpendicular sewing line to keep the angle of the pieces correct.

This is the Back view of the pinned fabric.













Do the same thing at the other end.





Then by feeling the seams together along pin at intervals about every 2”.







I pin perpendicular to the sewing line so that I can easily remove the pins as I sew. Getting into this habit is particularly good for when you have to sew curved seams together e.g. Princess Seams, especially on a large bust. ​​

This is the back view. ​​





At the sewing machine position the fabric under the needle at the edge of the seam allowance in line with the sewing line and I always sew a couple of stitches then back stitch a couple of stitches to secure the stitching at the beginning. Sew down the seam carefully removing the pins as you go.

I never sew over pins except for Fork pins, I always sew very slowly and carefully over these, which is very naughty I know but I have never broke a needle and getting a perfectly lined up seam junction is worth the risk I think!

I will also backstitch at the very end of the sewing line in the seam allowance and then pull out the piece of work from the sewing machine.







Remove the Fork pin and have a look on the inside to see how well you lined up the Guidelines or the perpendicular seams.






With Seam Allowance

If you have Seam Allowances on your fabric pieces, usually for a Flexible Pattern then you will need to check the pattern and the Pattern Record Card to ensure that you know the size of the Seam Allowance that you need to sew on the particular Seam you are working on.


Sometimes Seam Allowances differ by piece and also on the same sewing line the allowances can be different.


You will need your pins and also your Fork pins handy.

  1. Place the two fabric pieces right sides together and line up the pieces along the edge of the fabric.

  2. If there is a Guideline or a perpendicular seam or a notch somewhere along the pieces I will pin this first. Peak between the seams to check that the sewing line and the Guidelines line up exactly and pin a Fork pin through the area straggling either side of the Guideline or seam or Notch. You can open up the wide end to peek inside if you need to ensure that everything is perfectly aligned.

  3. Next pin the two pieces of fabric together at one end of the fabric.

  4. Do the same thing at the other end.

  5. Then pin perpendicular to the edge of the fabric all the way down the edge every 2” or so which will make it easy to remove the pins as you sew. Getting into this habit is particularly good for when you have to sew curved seams together e.g. Princess Seams, especially on a large bust.

  6. Check your sewing machine so that you know which indicator you need to follow when sewing to ensure you get an accurate Seam Allowance for the measurement that you are using for this seam.

  7. At the sewing machine position the fabric under needle with the edge of the fabric at the correct marked point on the machine for the seam allowance that you need to sew.

  8. Sew down the seam carefully removing the pins as you go. I never sew over pins except for Fork pins, I always sew very slowly and carefully over these.

  9. I will also backstitch at the very end of the sewing line in the seam allowance and then pull out the piece of work from the sewing machine.

  10. Remove the Fork pin and have a look on the inside to see how well you lined up the Guidelines or the perpendicular seams.

Sewing Curved Seams

You would sew a curved seam in the same way as sewing a seam as shown above but sew a little more slowly and carefully. You may need to add in extra pins around the curve to ensure that the curves align perfectly. If the sewing lines have slipped after sewing unpick it and try adding more pins, or there may be some strain on the seam which is pulling one side away. To reduce any strain clip at intervals from the edge of the fabric to the sewing line and if it opens up then you will have released some strain.


This picture shows an unusually shaped hip which will need resolving on fitting, clipping is required to enable pressing the seam to be a little easier until the issue is resolved.







Clipping at intervals can reduce the stress further, the measurement between gaps can differ depending on the curve and the strain issue.


This photo shows a curved seam that requires multiple snips at about ½” apart can you see how gaps form as the snips are made and the fabric relaxes. Also in this photo the other side of the seam has been snipped as well and the position of these cuts have not been made in the same position as the other side, can you see that the cuts are staggered, this helps to spread the bulk of the seam allowance across the seam.

A Princess Seam is a good example of how to sew a curved seam. You need to deal with a situation where a curved seam is being sewn into a straighter seam or if the Princess line is to the Armhole then you will be sewing a concave and convex seam together.


This is a photo of a Princess Seam from a Base Template draft for a G cup bust, which is why the curve is low in the pattern.







Just like sewing any seam start with lining up any Guideline or notches and pinning with a Fork pin in order to fix the position, in this case the position of the Bust Point. Pin at the end then feeling the sewing lines pin the remaining seam together.


Pinning a curved seam can be tricky, you need to ensure that you spread the fabric evenly across the seam.







I think it helps if you mould the seam over your fingers to allow the curve to naturally drop into place.








Continue pinning until the full seam is pinned.







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